Chis Maxwell and Alex Pugh attended Barker College, Hornsby NSW, together between 1965 and 1970 and they have remained firm friends since. At Barker they were inspired with a love of history by Stuart Braga. Alex pursued a career in business, while Chis followed a research and teaching career in animal science.

Chis Maxwell graduated from the University of Sydney (BScAgr Hons, 1974, PhD 1979) studying animal science and specialized in domestic animal reproduction. After a career in government, academic research and teaching, he retired in 2008 as Pro Dean and was appointed Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Biology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney.  In 2007 he received the Urrbrae Award for outstanding contributions to the science and practice of Australian agriculture and has been awarded life memberships of the Society for Reproductive Biology (2012) and the International Association for Applied Animal Andrology (2014). In 2017 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division, for significant service to veterinary science in the field of animal reproduction through academic and advisory roles.

Professor Maxwell and his students have published over 350 articles in international research journals, major reviews, book chapters and books.  One book, with G Evans, a practical manual on the artificial insemination in sheep and goats, has been published in three languages and has international sales of over 10,000.

Since retirement Chis has been involved in lay ministry at St John’s Anglican Church, Beecroft. He is married and has two children.


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Alex Pugh graduated from the University of Sydney (BA Hons, 1975) studying history under Patrick Collinson, Maida Coaldrake, Ros Pesman, Marley Stephen, John O. Ward and R. Ian Jack. Alex pursued a career in business, in the telecommunications industry, working with Telstra between 1977 and 2009, with management roles in Finance, Strategic Sourcing and Systems Development.

Since his retirement, Alex returned actively to his love for historical research, with interests in mediaeval, church, Levantine and Australian history. He has published A Short History of St James’ Pitt Town (Parish of Pitt Town Australia 1999) and the Recollections of Mary Pugh née Diacono (Alex Pugh 2009). Alex has been working for many years on a significant history of the Lapierre family of Constantinople and Cyprus, of whom he is a descendant. He has strong links with the Kontea Heritage Foundation, a cross-community project, centered on his ancestral home of Kondea (Turkmenkoy), working towards a solution to the ethnic division of Cyprus. Alex has a passion for English literature, and writes poetry. He has been a church musician for much of his life. Alex was involved in lay ministry in the Pitt Town Anglican Community Church from 1997 to 2016.

In retirement, Chis and Alex are tackling the writing of Australian history.  Their first book together, “The Merchant of Sydney: James Chisholm (1772-1837)”, is the biography of an early colonial pioneer of whom Chis is a sixth generation descendant. Their second book, "The Master of Hell's Gates", also an historical biography, traces the life of the mariner William Kinghorne (1796-1878). Australian Scholarly Publishing of Melbourne are the publishers of both books.